You may not know his name, but you definitely know his work.
Jim Paratore, the man behind some of the biggest TV shows in syndicated television, died Tuesday of a heart attack while cycling in France, RumorFix has confirmed.
His list of hits include The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Extra, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, Lopez Tonight and TMZ.
Harvey Levin writes, “Jim was a mentor to me for many years. He never feared a good, unconventional idea…he reveled in rebellion. Ellen [DeGeneres] is such a good example. No one wanted to hire Ellen after she came out. Jim knew how talented she was & went station by station, convincing the suits to buy the show.”
Ellen echoes the sentiment: “My friend, producer and champion Jim Paratore died today. He gave me a chance when no one else would. I love you, Jim”
Jim was also responsible for creating a show that gave Entertainment Tonight competition. Extra released this statement, “Today we lost Jim Paratore, the man who launched ‘Extra’ back in 1994. Jim was a television visionary, a talented executive and a dear friend. We will all miss him dearly.”
Mike Fleiss, the mastermind behind The Bachelor franchise, also credited Jim for that show: “Jim Paratore, who died today, is the main reason the show is on the air. I am devastated.”
Jim was 59 and is survived by his wife, Jill Wickert, and his daughter, Martinique Paratore.